Monk Shines At Real Deal

Bentonville sophomore Malik Monk - who is in absolutely no hurry to make a decision on his future - had a game-high 20 points to lead the Arkansas Wings to an 83-51 win over the Rashard Lewis 9 squad Friday night as the Real Deal in the Rock got underway.

LITTLE ROCK - As one of the headliners of this season's Real Deal on the Hill, Bentonville sophomore Malik Monk didn't disappoint a packed crowd at P.A.R.K on Friday night.

Monk had 20 points and Arkansas junior football commit Jamario Bell added 10 as the Arkansas Wings routed the Rashard Lewis 9 squad 83-51.

Monk, who averaged 21 points per game this season, had 10 in the opening half and 10 after intermission as the Wings raced away from a five-point halftime lead.

"We really just got more pressure on the ball, helped out defensively and shared the ball on offense," Monk said. "....You have got to start inside and get the easier shots first and then the outside shots will come to you. My teammates set me up very well with drives and kicks."

Those hoping for Monk to end his recruitment process early will be disappointed as he has no intention of narrowing things down any time soon.

He doesn't plan to make any special visits this spring and summer while playing AAU ball.

"We really there to handle business," Monk said. "I'm not really worried about a school right now. I am handling business on a business trip and I want to get business done.

"I am going to wait until the very end to make the right decision," Monk added. "I'll have my brother help me out with it."

Arkansas, Baylor, Florida, Kansas, Memphis, LSU, Indiana and UConn have already offered with a host of other schools interested.

"There are a lot of schools on me so I am just keeping my mind open and not focusing on one school," Monk said. "They (the Razorbacks) really played well and it was tough to see them lose in the NIT, but it was a nice season."

His brother Marcus – a former Arkansas football and basketball star – was a graduate assistant for the Razorback basketball team this season.

"He said that they really just bonded very well," said Monk, who took in about six Razorback home games this season.

The older Monk has taken the pressure off of the younger one when it comes to recruiting.

"If I am about to do an interview, he asks what they might be about to ask me," Monk said. "And with colleges, he handles that very well and really doesn't let me know about it until they say they want to offer me."

He did stress that he is definitely going to be playing at Bentonville next season, once again nixing speculation that he might head to a prep school.

The Tigers finished the season 19-6 and got ousted from the state tournament in the second round by eventual state champion North Little Rock, which featured Arkansas signee Anton Beard and junior sensation KeVaughn Allen.

That game was played before a packed house in Conway in an arena in which they had to turn fans away.

"I really expected it because me and KeVaughn and Anton are all highly recruited," Monk said.

Monk helped lead the Wings to the 16-and-under national title last season and could have played in that division again this year, but decided to play up an age bracket for better competition.

"I am playing up so it is better competition and more stronger," Monk said. "So I have got to be prepared every game."

In the night's other highlighted game, Team Penny easily handled the Arkansas Hawks 81-45.

Memphis Hamilton junior Dedric Lawon had 15 points to lead Team Penny – coached by former NBA players Penny Hardaway and Todd Day – while junior North Little Rock football star K.J. Hill had 7 points for the winners.

Memphis junior commit Keelon Lawson had 14.

Allen – who will be playing with Team Penny during EYBL action this summer – attended his prom on Friday night, but is scheduled to join the team for Saturday's games.

North Pulaski's Reshawn Langston had 10 points for the Hawks. Former Maumelle player Deshawn Williams, now at Prime Prep in Dallas, had four points.

Pool play continues Saturday morning in the event with bracket play getting under way Saturday afternoon and championship games set for Sunday morning.


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